Meet OUR

STAFF

Administration &
Quality Management

TODD LARE

Executive Director

Todd is a lifelong Hoosier who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary Social Studies education and Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development. He is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Todd’s professional background includes serving in senior leadership at CareSource, as CEO/Executive Director of South Central Community Action Program, and as a member of the local United Way/FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter Board, the Region 8 Workforce Development Board, and the Indiana Community Action Association Board of Directors.  He also served as Public Policy Chair of the Community Action Association Board for 3 years and as the President of that board for 2 years.

HANNAH KISTLER

Director of Client Services

Hannah started her tenure at Step-Up, inc. in 2012 as a Non-Medical Case Manager and transitioned to her position as the Director of Client Services in mid-2016. Hannah is a Licensed Social Worker, with a Master of Social work from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Social Work from Anderson University. Hannah is enthusiastic about her role and brings over 10 years of experience in the field of HIV client services. In her free time, Hannah enjoys watching women’s soccer and spending time outdoors.

JOHN COCCO

Director of Re-Entry Services

John P. Cocco, MSW LCSW has worked in mental health and substance use disorders since 2007. He originally joined Step Up in 2011 as the case manager for the re-entry services program. He received his Master of Social Work in 2014, specializing in mental health and substance use disorders. He left Step Up in that same year to begin his doctoral education in social work. He completed his coursework and returned to Step Up in 2017. He is an active member of the Marion County Reentry Coalition, is a CSWE fellow, and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Organization of Forensic Social Work.

Bodashus dawson

Director of Outreach & Prevention

Bodashus (Bo) has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Indiana State University. Bo’s professional background includes working as a Disease Intervention Specialist and Special Projects Outreach Coordinator at Bell Flower Clinic for 8 years and serving as the Executive Director of Agape Alliance for 4 years. Bo brings several years of experience in working with the Indianapolis community. In his free time, Bo enjoys working out, spending time with his wife, two sons, and their dog.

Dennis Wilkinson

Director of Finance

Dennis has been volunteering with Step-Up since 2005. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana State University. His background includes Internal Audit, Loss Prevention and Finance. In May 2017, he married his partner at Greg’s Indy/Our Place bar, which is where they met 20 years ago. They both enjoy hanging out with friends, traveling and doing home improvement projects. He is originally from Terre Haute and is one of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Dennis is excited to be a part of the Step-Up Team.

Mara White

Quality Manager

Mara started her tenure at Step-Up, Inc. in October 2018 as a Case Manager with the Re-Entry Services team and transitioned to her current position in August 2019. Mara is a graduate from Indiana State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Mara has extensive experience working in the criminal justice system and re-entry services.

Sherika Sides

Program Manager 

Sherika has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Indiana University- Bloomington and a Master’s in Public Health from Indiana State University. Before coming to Step-UP, Sherika worked as the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator at the Indiana State Department of Health. Sherika’s professional background also includes working as a disease intervention specialist and a community health worker at the Marion County Public Health Department. In her spare time, Sherika enjoys spending time with her family and dog and volunteering at the humane society with her son.

Suzanne Thompson

Director of Development 

Suzanne holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Kentucky. She lives and works with a simple philosophy of “Work. Play. Do Good”. This is embodied in her dedication to exceeding expectations, experiencing the world through the openness and eagerness of a child’s mind, and empowering others for the greater good of the community. She has 19 years of diverse experience in non-profit development and fundraising. 

Client Services

Jake Dean

Non-Medical Case Manager 

Jake currently works as an HIV/AIDS Care Coordinator with Step-Up, Inc. Prior to working at Step-Up, he was a BSW intern at Meridian Health Services HIV Care Coordination in Muncie, IN and a volunteer with Muncie Outreach. Jake graduated with his BSW from Ball State University. He lives in the Indianapolis area with his husband and their pets. Jake enjoys spending his free time hiking, visiting state parks, playing board games, and watching Food Network shows.

EMILY GRESE

Non-Medical Case Manager

Emily graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelors in Social Work in 2017, and is a candidate for a Masters in Social Work for 2018. She joined Step Up as in intern in February 2017. In December of 2017, Emily began working for Step Up as a Non-Medical Case Manager. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing with her dogs, baking, knitting.

ANA COOPER

Non-Medical Case Manager 

Ana attends Marian University and is majoring in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Social Work. Ana has previously worked in family services helping a diverse population of families. Ana is excited to also support the Latino community in Indianapolis as she is fluent in Spanish and English. Ana enjoys watching Disney films, cooking with her husband, and spending time with family in her free time. Ana is very excited to be a part of the Step-Up team.

MADISON SCHAEFER

Non-Medical Case Manager

Madison is a Non-Medical Case Manager with Step-Up Inc. since February of 2019. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Work and Sociology from Indiana University. Madison enjoys spending time with her pets and loved ones. Her hobbies include traveling, embroidering, horticulture, and volunteering with the community.”

ABBY FOLTZ

Non-Medical Case Manager

Abby recently began working with Step Up, Inc. as a non-medical case manager. Though she is new to the field, she is familiar with the work seeing as her family has worked in this field for many years. Before joining the Step Up team, Abby was a cosmetologist and receptionist and has always loved working with the public. She is very excited to start this new journey by reaching out to the community. In her free time, Abby likes to spend time with her family, wife, their police K9 and two cats.

ROBIN HUNTER

Non-Medical Case Manager

Robin has been a Non-Medical Case Manager since March of 2018. Before working at Step Up Inc., she studied computer engineering at IUPUI and has had years of experience in customer service and IT. Robin is passionate about technology and interactive media. She combines her passion with her employment to improve quality assurance and efficiency at the agency. Robin’s interests include video games, films, music, and spending time with loved ones.

AKEEM HARRIS

Non-Medical Case Manager

Akeem graduated in 2016 from Indiana State University with a B. S. in Psychology and a minor in Marketing. Akeem worked in the field of research for 2 years before switching to Case Management services with Step-Up. Akeem’s hobbies include working on cars, spending time with family, and enjoys the culinary arts.

NATALIE FREEHAN

Non-Medical Case Manager

Natalie started with Step Up in May of 2020 as a Housing Case Manager. She is a recent graduate of IUPUI, earning her Bachelor in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Justice. Natalie spent most of her undergraduate career focused on expanding her knowledge of social justice topics, in both her community as well as others. Her time was spent in the Multicultural Center as a student employee and a member of the Multicultural Leadership Empowerment Program. The topics that she learned about in school and through experience with others led to the passion behind the work she does with Step Up. Natalie is very dedicated to the work she does with clients and within this field. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys being with her partner, family, and friends. Natalie loves cooking and baking for other people. She also loves to read.

DUSTIE GOLDSMITH

Medical Case Manager & Mental Health Clinician

Dustie Goldsmith, MSW, LSW is a Medical Case Manager and Mental Health Clinician for Step Up’s HIV Client Services. Dustie earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Indiana University School of Social Work. Prior to joining the team at Step Up in 2019, Dustie has worked in various mental health roles including with survivors of domestic violence, individuals placed in long term inpatient psychiatric care, children in foster care settings, children placed in juvenile detention centers, and in suicide prevention at an Indianapolis children’s hospital emergency room. In her free time, Dustie enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, reading, and long-distance running started her tenure at Step-Up, Inc. 

MANUEL GONZALEZ-CARRASCO

Non-Medical Case Manager 

Manuel (Manny) Gonzalez-Carrasco started his HIV work career in New Mexico as a Housing Non-Medical Case Worker. The position was a temporary, but Manny fell in love with the work and the difference he was making in his community. In September 2020 Manny moved back to Indianapolis and continues his journey in the HIV field. In his free time, Manny enjoys watching documentaries and hiking.

Outreach, Prevention & Testing Services

MICHAEL ROBINSON

Testing Manager

Michael has several years of experience in the customer service field and is great at creating a safe and comfortable space for someone to obtain testing services. He has been certified by both Red Cross and Indiana State Department of Health as a HIV/AIDS instructor, counselor, tester.  Michael has been with Step-Up since 2013.

ERIC PFLEIDER

Education & Outreach Coordinator

Eric started at Step Up in 2019. He attended Butler University where he earned an associate’s degree in Telecommunications and was the founding editor-in-chief of their online newspaper. Having been a hair stylist and hair color educator in Chicago, Eric’s passion for educating and helping people has led him to a career in STD/HIV prevention and testing. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time cooking, going to concerts and keeping up with pop culture.

SYLVIA THOMAS

Education & Outreach Coordinator

Sylvia Thomas has been at Step Up since May 2018. She graduated with her Bachelors Degree in U.S. History in 2018. In her career, while working with people living with HIV/AIDS, Sylvia has also had experience in working in grassroots movements and in international diplomacy for Transgender Rights, Racial Justice, and Sex Work populations. While not working, she enjoys travelling, performing spoken word, and visiting local LGBTQIA+ establishments.

SAM CLARK

Outreach & Testing Coordinator

Sam started with Step-Up in March 2020. He studied International Studies, with a concentration in Human Rights and Social Movements, and Arabic, with a minor in Folklore and Ethnomusicology, at Indiana University Bloomington. Sam previously worked in the Indy Tech scene, but his passion for people and building interpersonal relationships has led him to serve his community with the Step-Up team. In his downtime, this cinephile and cat dad loves to travel with his friends, try new foods, and explore new places.

HUNTER PACE

HIV Care Services & Prevention Americorps Member

Hunter is a recent graduate of Indiana University, and is one of two AmeriCorps members at Step Up and is helping establish an employment services program as well as assisting on the outreach team. Despite not having a background in social work, Hunter was inspired to join the AmeriCorps program in HIV services due to his experience in nonprofit cooperative living and serving at food assistance organizations. As a prospective anthropologist, he is excited to meet and serve people of all different backgrounds. He enjoys being outside and active and traveling, although his passion is cooking and sharing food with others.

Re-Entry Services

J. JOHNSON

Forensic Care Coordinator

J. Johnson serves as a Forensic Care Coordinator, offering person-centered, community-based services to individuals with criminal justice involvment. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y, Mr. Johnson is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army. During his military career he traveled extensively both domestically and abroad, residing in Europe for ten years. During his career he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Maryland. After his civilian career which included over twenty years of both corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Mr. Johnson now focuses his energies on social service as exemplified through his personal motto “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Jason Jones, MSW, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Jason Jones, MSW, LCSW is the therapist for Step-Up’s re-entry services. Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology from Ball State University. He has worked at the Indiana Department of Correction and the Indiana Department of Child Services. Jason completed his Master of Social Work degree in 2014 from Indiana University and joined Step-Up in 2017. Jason has experience in mental health and addictions treatment having worked in the mental health unit at Pendleton Correctional Facility. Jason lives in Indianapolis and enjoys hiking, camping, and traveling.”.

ABIGAIL Carr, MPH

INPEP ECHO Program Manager

After completing her Bachelor of Science at the University of Dayton in 2015, Abby Abram found her passion for the field of public health while serving a year with AIDS United AmeriCorps. In 2016, she pursued her Master of Public Health at the University of Indianapolis and began her career at Step-Up, Inc. As the Indiana Peer Education Program (INPEP) Program Manager, Abby is passionate about reducing health disparities and instilling hope in Indiana Department of Correction. Additionally, Abby serves as the President on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Society for Public Health Education and as Adjunct Faculty at her alma mater, the University of Indianapolis.

JOEY BEYERS

INPEP Specialist

Joey is currently serving on the Indiana Peer Education Program Team, Reentry Services Team, and Outreach Team. He is a nursing student in Indianapolis with a focus on psychology and is also the Vice President of the Psychology Club. He previously attended Sullivan University in Louisville. He is excited to be a part of Step-Up and the AmeriCorps 20-21 Team to help and educate people of diverse backgrounds and has a passion to help the LGBTQ+ community. He loves to travel internationally and experience different people of different cultures.

STEP-UP SUPPORTERS

Board of Directors

Rich Farmer Board President
Paula French
John Randolph
Eric David
Jon Markee
Bryn Jackson

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